Since the International Association of Conference Centers' 1981 founding, members' adherence to the organization's strict standards for conference room design, conference and business services, and technology has been based on “the honor system,” says IACC President Geoff Lawson. But that's changing.

At a state of the industry presentation at the Millennium Conference Center in New York City in September, Lawson announced a new, third-party facility-inspection program, to begin in 2004. IACC has hired Bare Associates International to inspect IACC member facilities and validate their claims.

Lawson, regional manager for the IBM Learning Center & IBM Executive Palisades Conference Center in Palisades, N.Y., says that the inspection program “will help ensure the quality and integrity of the environment, provide a consistently productive experience for conferees, and enhance the results of meetings that take place in IACC centers.”